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Fighting Polio in Pakistan

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Science  03 Aug 2012:
Vol. 337, Issue 6094, pp. 517-521
DOI: 10.1126/science.337.6094.517

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In 2011, Pakistan became the global epicenter of polio, with more cases than any country in the world. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative, with help from the Edhi Foundation, Pakistan's largest and best-known charity, has since been pulling out all the stops, and the government is on board as never before. As a result, polio cases are down, and Nigeria has eclipsed Pakistan as the gravest threat to polio eradication. But the recent success is too fragile to say that Pakistan has turned the corner. Because the virus is so contagious and spreads so stealthily, as long as it lingers anywhere, the world is at risk. And that means if eradication fails in Pakistan, the 24-year, nearly $10 billion initiative fails everywhere.